I would like to introduce one of my weeknight recipes – Japanese Chicken Piccata. In fact, this was one of my mum’s weeknight menus as well. It is quick and easy, and you can serve it within 30 minutes.
Firstly, please do not mix up with the real Italian Piccata!! This piccata is one of the Japanese Yoshoku (洋食) dishes.
Yoshiku means “Western Food” in Japanese, however I would say, it is “Western-influenced Japanese Dishes”. In Meiji era (the 19th century) after Japan opened up to the world, a lot of Western culture came into Japan including food. Yoshoku was created by incorporating Western recipes with Japanese cooking methods and ingredients in order to be more suitable for the local environment and tastes. Curry and Rice, Karaage, Katsu and Korroke are just a few of examples of Yoshoku.
See more here re: Yoshoku.
Unlike the real Piccata with lemon butter sauce, the Japanese version is pan-fried sliced chicken with an egg coating. My mum used to serve it with ketchup, but as an adult, I like eating it without any sauce. Since the chicken is protected by the egg while cooking, the meat keeps its moisture and tenderness.
The method is really simple – slice chicken, dip in egg and pan-fry. As it is simple, just keep these tips in mind so that you will never fail.
Tip 1: Slice Chicken Breast Against the Grain
To avoid the chicken breast being tough and dry, slice it against the grain like this.
Believe me, this super simple cutting technique makes the chicken breast so much tenderer!
Tip 2 : Add Milk or Water to Egg
Milk or Water- whichever will be fine. As extra liquid slows down the cooking speed of egg, the egg coating will not be dry and over-cooked.
Tip3 : Sprinkle Flour Over Chicken
Before dipping the sliced chicken into the egg mixture, do not forget to sprinkle flour over the chicken. Flour works as glue between egg and chicken, therefore, the egg coating will not easily come off.
I often serve my piccata with a super simple salad, which becomes a perfect weeknight meal!
The recipe below is for 2, but you can simply double up the measurement to make it for 4. The leftover is perfect for a lunch box the next day as this piccata is tasty and tender even when it’s cold.
If you are thinking what to cook tonight, try my Japanese Chicken Piccata. Hope you like it 🙂
Ingredients (serving for 2)
- 1 Chicken Breast – about 200-250g – slice thinly with angle against grain as above
- 1 pinch of Salt
- 1 pinch of Black Pepper
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of Milk or Water (whichever you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Flour
- <Optional> Tomato Ketchup to serve
- Some easy salad (salad leaves, tomato, cucumber etc) to serve as a meal
- Place sliced chicken breast in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Mix all together and leave it for about 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat egg and milk (or water) together.
- Heat a frying-pan over a high heat with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil. Once the frying-pan gets really hot, turn it down to a medium heat.
- Sprinkle flour over the chicken breast. Mix all together well.
- Pick up a slice of chicken breast with chopsticks or tongs, dip in the egg mixture and place it in the frying-pan. Repeat the process to all slices of the chicken. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the bottom side of the chicken gets a nice light brown colour.
- Pick up a slice of the chicken breast from the frying-pan, and dip in the egg mixture again. And then place it back to the frying-pan to cook the other side for about 1-2 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over to make sure that the egg coating on the surface is cooked – just cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove them from the frying-pan. Arrange the chicken piccata on the serving plate with salad to serve.
Note: If you did not use all of the egg mixture, you can add it into your simple soup to serve as a side dish – no waste 🙂